Almohads and Marinides- David Corcos


The Zenata of the second period, the Beni-Marin or Marinides were nomads in the region of Biskra itself at the time of the second great Arab invasion of the Maghrib. Towards the end of the Xlth century the Marinides were driven west by the newly arrived Arab tribes, the Beni-Hillal and the Beni-Soleim whom the Fatimides from Egypt had found dangerous and had consequently set on Ifriquya which was escaping from their hold.

Biskra (Arabicبسكرة ‎‎; Berber:  Tibeskert) is the capital city of Biskra ProvinceAlgeria. In 2007, its population was recorded as 307,987.

 The Marinides then began to wander through the deserts which separate Figuig from Sijilmassa. For their provisions they periodically visited the townships between Guercif and Watat in the valleys of the Muluya. They re­mained outside the stream of events at the time of the Al- moravide rule and appear for the first time in history with the rise of the Almohads. A Zenata coalition, comprising among others the Maghrawa and the Beni-Illumi, had de­clared itself in favor of the Almorávides and cAbd-el־mu- men sent his ablest general to defeat them, he was success­ful in doing so. A section of the Zenata yielded, but the Ma­rinides refused to serve the Almohads and sought refuge in the desert. They did not leave their retreat until 1196 when their leader, at the head of a contingent from his tribe, took part in the famous battle of Alarcos, where he received a wound from which he was later to die. At that particular time it was certainly not yet their religious conviction which made them volunteers in the Holy War, but rather the hope of a share in the booty as well as the desire to maintain their warlike activities. Their hostility towards the Almohads however did not abate, and this was not due to their attachment to Malekism, about which they doubtless knew very little.

cAbd-el-haq succeeded the hero of Alarcos. He was the originator of those who laid the foundation of Ma- rinide power and was considered the family ancestor. He was thought to be endowed with supernatural powers, and Arab authors, anxious to present him as a good Moslem, attribute exemplary piety to him.

Abd al-Haqq I ibn Mihyu ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hamama (died 1217) was the first Marinid (or Banu abd al-Haqq) sheikh, leader and an eponym for that dynasty

Around 1215, the new Almohad caliph, Yusuf II Al-Mustansir was still young and the Almohads had earlier suffered a severe defeat against Christian kingdoms of Iberia on 16 July 1212 in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The "Banu Marin" (or the Marinids) took advantage of the situation and attacked the Almohads who sent 10,000 men to fight them. The battle took place on the coast of the Rif region. The Almohads were defeated. During 1217, the Berber nomads and tribes clashed with the Marinids around Fes but were defeated. However Abd al-Haqq was mortally wounded during these clashes.

The Marinids took possession of the Rif and were able to maintain their control of the region despite attempted counter-attacks by the Almohads.

The Marinide conquest of Northern Morocco was begun between 1215 and 1244. Having settled in the region of Taza and North of it, ever since the rule of the Almohad Al-mustansir (1215-1224), the Marinides took advantage of the state of anarchy prevailing in the Almohad kingdom to invade the cultivated land extending up to the Atlantic. They were aided in this by the Zenata whom the Almorávides had driven East and who were established on the shores of the Muluya. The Almohad armies sent to fight the invaders were nearly always defeated and it was in the course of one of these combats that 'Abd-el-haq met his death. His sons in turn succeeded him. Abu-ihya, the third son, was able to ta­ke Fez, Meknes, Taza, Rabat and Salee as early as 1248, the first section of the Marinide kingdom had thus became esta­blished.

Two modern historians, Nauhm Slousch  and L. Voinot maintain that the Jews reappeared in Fez during the reign of Abu-ihya. Slousch holds that the great fire which devastated the bazaars in the capital in 1248, a disaster which is referred to by Ibn-Abi-Zar, was a great disaster for the Jews. Then, he tells us, still basing himself on the Arab chronicler, who incidentally never made such a statement but whom Slousch quotes via A. Cahen. Abu-ihya, permitted the Jews to enjoy freedom of worship again, on condition that they pay special taxes and wear the yellow costume imposed on them by the last Almohads. L. Voinot, who also mentions the improved con- ditions of the Jews of Morocco dating back to the end of the Xllth century (sic), is simply restating the information given by Slousch without, incidentally, quoting him. It is however probable that the Zenata Jews of the areas which were once Marinide routes followed their armies to Morocco, not only to provide supplies but also to fight. We can understand the silence of Arab authors on this matter and should not, for this reason alone, reject the hypothesis without carefully examining it, The Jews of Morocco it must be remembered, fought in the Almoravide armies in the battle of Zallaka (1086), and Jewish warriors fought in the Atlas at the beginning of the XVIth century. 'Jewish warriors' whose presence has been established as certain at the end of the end of the Xlth century, cannot have disappeared only to reappear four centuries later. Some continuity must link the one event to the other. However this may be, the presence of Jews in Fez is only documented in the reign of Abu- yussef. Before we can speak of the reappearance of the Jews in the urban centres of Morocco, we must glance at their condition under the rule of the Almohads. During the period in question the latter are still established in Southern Morocco and their capital is still Marrakesh.

הירשם לבלוג באמצעות המייל

הזן את כתובת המייל שלך כדי להירשם לאתר ולקבל הודעות על פוסטים חדשים במייל.

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